By Mario Conde
In hard economic times where there are limited funds, there are groups in Calexico that are working to create new recreation spaces for the youth\ of the city.
For 25 years, Jesus “Chuy” Iniguez has been active in Calexico youth sports, organizing and coaching baseball and softball. Iniguez has been with the Calexico Little League and, more recently, served as Calexico Parents Athletic League President. This year, he started the Desert Sun Girls Softball League which right now has 280 girls and 23 teams.
The organization has girls that play from T-ball all the way to Softball. Thanks to the hard work of Iniguez and the Desert Sun Girls Softball, they were able to raise $13,000 to install backstops at Joel Reisin Field. Girls Softball games have been played on the field for the last year with huge success and now the next goal for the organization is to build a second backstop right next to it on Reisin Field. The goal is to raise enough money to install the second backstop and a batting cage in the near future.
The Calexico Police Officers Association will be selling fireworks at Reisin Field this year now that Calexico will join Calipatria as the only two cities that will allow the sale of fireworks. Monies raised from that sale will go to the Desert Sun Girls. Council member Bill Hodge commended the leadership of Iniguez saying that the City needs to step up to the plate and improve parks and recreation.
“Yes, there are priorities in the budget and in our city, but I think parks and recreation needs to be a high priority since having the youth involved will have positive ramifications for the community. It will increase their self esteem and will help the youth stay out of trouble.” Hodge said.
Councilman Hodge said he will request at the next council meeting an action to improve Reisin Park and also to work with the other league organizations in Calexico to see how the city’s recreation department can work together.
“Sports bring families together and improve our community. That’s why I love doing it and why it is the most gratifying part of my job. To see a smile on a little girl’s face is all that matters.” Iniguez said.
The Desert Sun Girls Softball will host its first annual “Oldies but Goodies” event fundraiser at the Calexico Community Center this Friday May 13, 2011. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. There will be live music by Tony Obeso & Frank Paleo.
For more information about this event call Jesus Iniguez at 760-427-5879.
By Mario Conde